Reading as a contact sport: The review of Dangerous Neighbors

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ever since I published my first book I dreamed of finding a stranger somewhere—anywhere—curled up with one of my stories.  It has happened only once; I was walking the path by the Schuylkill River and found a woman paging through Flow.  And once, of course, dear James Lecesne could be spotted reading Dangerous Neighbors on an Amtrak train, but that doesn't really count, in the oh-my-gosh-what-a-surprise way of things, for I'd handed him the book hours before at the BEA.

Because, as you all know, I never google my own name or check Amazon ratings, I don't operate with any sense of who might be reading which of my books right now (nor do I ever presume that people are).  And so, when, quite accidentally, I came upon this review of Dangerous Neighbors today, I felt that happy thing that happens inside when I know that a reader has been out there in the midst (and mist), and that a reader has read with such generosity and grace. 

I will, however, confess to feeling badly for our reviewer, Pam, from whom I learned, in this paragraph, that reading can be a contact sport:

Beth Kephart is such a fantastic writer that I am always in awe of her prose and story telling ability, so much so that reviewing any piece of literature from Kepharts small but growing canon is always hard for me to accomplish. Kephart is astonishingly capable of making her characters come to life in such a way that putting down the book to do menial tasks such as walking the hound become impossible. Which is why August of 2010 will always be known to me as the month that I learned walking the dog while reading results in severe coordination disability, causing walking into a pole, nose bleeds, and incredible embarrassment to all who try. This life lesson is just one of the things Kephart has taught me while reading her books.
 Thank you so much, Pam.


Anna Lefler said...

I'm sorry, but that's really funny.

Excellent fodder for your next video book trailer...

;-) A.

Pam said...

Thank you Beth for writing stories that are nosebleed worthy :P

Lilian Nattel said...

That is funny and wonderful. I remember as a kid walking with book in hand. My kids do that now.

Ally said...

I'm always simultaneously worried and joyful when I see kids walking/reading on their way home from school. But it's those who bike and read that terrify me! :O

Serena said...

I must say that reading and walking at the same time is an acquired skill that must be perfected over the years. I've gotten pretty good at it, but when you add the dog to the mix, you have to remember they have a mind of their own and often pull you in directions you are not expecting LOL

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